How Good Is Good Cholesterol?

High HDL levels don’t always mean a lower risk of heart attack.

Open the freezer in the laboratory across the hall from Annabelle Rodriguez’s office at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and you will find rows of miniature fluid-filled vials, many of them holding tiny strands of DNA. For the past 13 years, Rodriguez, a physician-scientist in the university’s Center for Vascular Biology, has kept her eye on one particular gene in those DNA strands that is integral to the function of high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Rodriguez’s research suggests that HDL, what’s called the “good” cholesterol, may not be so good for everyone.

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